Personal Notes on Adoption

I started searching for my birth mother before my 21st birthday. As I write this, it’s less than two months ’til my 71st birthday. Two weeks ago I had a three-and-a-quarter-hour lunch with 15 new-to-me people, each a member of my genetic family, or one of their spouses. Three more have connected with me on Facebook, and I recognize last names of others commenting on my FB posts. There are more of them, too.

I was born the second of 11 children. (That wasn’t anywhere on my “what do I expect to find?” list. Don’t search unless you’re willing to discover anything, and everything.) So I come from a large family with a wide range of gifts and challenges. Seven of us are still alive. And that’s just me and my siblings.

There’s no cookie-cutter formula for being an adopted child, or for being an adult who was adopted, a surrendering parent/family, or  an adoptive parent/family. There’s also no cookie-cutter formula for searching. I was once “found,” then dropped, by a woman hoping to locate her husband’s sister who’d been given up for adoption at birth.  Several friends found birth family from whom they  had, sooner or later, to withdraw. Each of us has our own right way of navigating our lives.

My-brother-I-grew-up-with has never had the slightest interest in searching for his genetic family. About 15 years ago, one of the cousins I grew up with adopted a child born in Korea. One of my “new” cousins was given up for adoption and found our shared family 24 years before I did. Later, she also found the son she’d surrendered for adoption. She and his mother maintain close ties.

Support and help along the way are vital tools if you’re searching. Along with DNA testing, a search angel can be priceless. You can find links to explore, including this one, on line.

MKJ, July 25, 2017, 7:45 PM